Panaji: The Goa government today said that all possible options were being considered for the resumption of mining industry in the state. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar chaired a meeting of legislators from the mining belt in the state at the legislature wing of the assembly complex this morning.
The meeting was attended by Speaker Pramod Sawant and legislators from the mining belt, including Rajesh Patnekar (BJP), Deepak Pawaskar (MGP), Pravin Zantye (BJP) and Prasad Gaonkar (independent). The MLAs resolved that attempts should be made to resume mining by October-November this year as several thousand people are seeking resumption of the industry.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), in a statement issued here, said, “The CM will also meet the MLAs who were unavailable for today’s meeting on account of being out of the state. He has been holding regular consultative meetings with all concerned on mining issue in the state.””All possible options for resumption of mining activity in the state are being evaluated,” it said.
The chief minister will also hold a joint meeting of all mining concerned MLAs shortly to arrive at a consensus. After that the matter will be taken up with Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the statement added. The mining industry in Goa has come to standstill from March 16 this year after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 mining leases in the state.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, speaker Pramod Sawant said there was an option of moving an ordinance in the Parliament to grant extension to the mining leases or appeal against the order of the apex court. The chief minister was optimistic that after discussion with the Centre and the PM, the mining should resume by October-November this year. He would be meeting the PM in Delhi next week, Sawant said.
He said the CM has already begun correspondence with the Centre seeking its help to end the crisis. Sawant said the state government wants the mining to resume for the sake of lakhs of people who are dependent on this activity. “The mine owners have dismissed the staff which was working on contract basis while those who are on management have been laid off. The permanent workers are forced to take voluntary retirement scheme,” he said.